Dina tweeted this article by Jill Kirby from the UK Daily Mail, which helps to show how government can punish good behavior, and reward destructive behavior – simply by transferring wealth.
Over recent decades, the British state has been engaged in a huge social experiment in which traditional family structures and moral values have been deliberately undermined by official policy.
In the name of progress, hard work and self-reliance have been punished through excessive taxation, while irresponsibility and idleness have been rewarded through unconditional welfare payments.
The destructive consequences of this approach are now becoming ever more apparent.
Britain now has a huge underclass of benefit-dependent, dysfunctional families who know far more about crime, drugs and alcohol than the world of work. Figures published yesterday revealed there are half a million problem households who, in total, cost taxpayers more than £30 billion a year through the colossal burden they impose on the welfare state, police forces and social services.
The scale of this social disaster is much worse than previously estimated. A Government study in 2011 reported there were around 120,000 troubled families — four times fewer than was revealed this week.
The cost is not just financial. With their self-centredness and disdain for the bonds that glue together civilised society, many of these families also bring misery to their neighbourhoods.
[…]When social reformer Sir William Beveridge first proposed the creation of the modern social security system in 1942, he explicitly stated that benefits should to be based on contributions through taxes and national insurance, otherwise they would simply discourage people from working and taking responsibility for their families.
But his contributory principle has long since disappeared, and we now have a ‘something for nothing’ system where those who give the least to society receive the most. Indeed, according to one official calculation, every ‘problem household’ costs the taxpayer at least £75,000 — which is more than three times average earnings.
So we have the grotesque situation where people who try to do the right thing — who go to work and bring their children up in a stable family — are punished twice over: first through the punitive income tax rates which contribute to paying for the welfare state, and second, through subsidising again the dysfunctional families that are produced by unconditional social security.
If the Government was serious about dealing with the problem, it would have the courage to introduce proper welfare sanctions to end the incentives to fecklessness. It would also provide real support through the tax system for the institution of marriage.
Sadly, the Coalition has done nothing to reverse the bias of the fiscal system against married couples, whereby married families are ruthlessly penalised by withdrawal of tax allowances and benefits, whereas support is lavished on lone parents.
And the cycle continues, because children of “lone parents” are going to be far less likely, on average, to be able to be net contributors in the society – to pay in more than they take out. It sounds so nice to redistribute wealth from people who have something to people who don’t, until you have too few people doing the right things, and too many people doing the wrong things. What happens then? I think that the responsible, hard working people will either leave the UK or curtail their productive activities. What else do you do when the government punishes you for your success and rewards other people for failure?